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Thread: crossmember/ motor mount removal tips?

  1. #1

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    Default crossmember/ motor mount removal tips?

    The rear trans/motor mount is shot. The one that attaches to the crossmember and the transmission belhousing next to the shift rod. The one that sucks. It's a manual transmission car. I'm scarred to unbolt the crossmember because of all the things I read about when breaking a captive nut or subframe stud. My car is likely at high risk because it's been driven on salted roads every year for 17 years.

    Somehow I thought I read it is possible to replace this thing without removing the north-south subframe. But I'm not so sure now... So far I have managed to remove or unbolt everything except the crossmember and the motor mount through bolt. The crossmember between the control arms came off okay. The bolts under the battery side were slightly damaged but the nuts will be okay with good bolts. I've been able to remove the nuts that attach both motor mounts to the crossmember. I've removed the nuts that attach the long bolts to the lower bracket to the bellhousing. And, of course, discovered that there's no way to remove the through bolts. I'm also doing the timing belt so the motor mount at the timing belt is also off. I tried various things with jacks and the 3 motor mounts disconnected and I realize that the motor mount under the battery may give enough clearance if it is disconnected.

    Since I failed at this yesterday, I reconnected everything. The motor mount has almost no rubber and just flops around. Is was hard to get the studs back into the crossmember, but I managed. At this point I will finish replacing the timing belt, water pump and idler pulleys and put the motor mount on the passenger side together. Today I'm going to the junkyard to practice pulling a few crossmembers and hopefully get all the pieces I will need if something breaks. It's becoming obvious that the crossmember should be removed... It also looks like the shift rod needs to be dropped to remove the through bolt. But maybe if the driver side transmission mount is disconnected and the other two mounts on the crossmember there will be enough clearance to raise or lower the engine and get the long bolts out??

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    I went to a junkyard today and don't think there should be any problem pulling the crossmember. I was able to remove the fasteners from rusty vehicles without issue. The studs and bolts are 12 mm grade 10, so strong as lug studs. The nuts welded to the engine cradle are heavy duty. I didn't have any problem with the nuts in the radiator support. They are only supposed to be torqued to 40 ft-lbs. If things are breaking you've got a really rusty car. Or more likely, human error using air ratchet wrenches.

    The bushings at the front were in good condition on most cars. I was able to pull a set out in good condition. The bushings at the rear were generally in poor condition. But I noticed automatic cars use the same bushing on both ends and manual cars have the one one in the upper left in the picture. The automatic bolt and bushings are below. These bushings are probably better than the ones on my car. The locking flange nuts that attach to rear were all in very poor condition. I had to hammer an impact socket on because of the rust. New ones will be needed.







    Jul022017_0052.jpg

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    that mount on the trans is hard to replace. The part you are not going to like is that the bolt come out of the mount toward the driver side. This will make it really difficult to manage under the car if you try to remove the bracket holding the mount or if you try to remove the bolt holding the mount.

    If you are patient with it you will find that once you unbolt everything then try to remove the mount it is easier if you do it by only removing the bolt going through it, not the bracket holding it. The trick to it will be to access the bolt through the wheel well. To do this, remove the tire and the wheel well liner then lift the engine until you can see the bolt. Then reach in there and remove it. You are first going to have to take the nut off the other end and that is easier while the engine is hanging down.
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    I managed to get much of it done today. I broke the nuts on the through bolts free first like dareall suggested. The shift rod had to be unbolted so I could get a 17 mm wrench on the through bolt nut. I couldn't seem to remove the rear mount without taking the bracket off the transmission. I removed the 3 bolts for the left mount at the transmission and the clip on the clutch hose. I had to raise the transmission to get the through bolt out and drop the transmission to get the upper bolt out of the mount. The lower bolt on the bracket is never blocked. The mount will drop out with the bracket. Then the transmission has to be raised to get the upper bolt on the bracket with the rubber mount loose in the bracket. The mount is contained within the bracket and it doesn't seem possible to do it any other way. Then the transmission has to be raised again to to get the through bolt in. So the top bolt comes out in the low position and the through bolt comes out in the high position. It's very tight clearance.

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    Fixing those motor mounts was $20 well spent. I still have bruises on my head from banging into jacks and jackstands while doing it. The rear mount had detached rubber and the front seemed very hard, maybe due to sitting inches from hot exhaust parts. I guess the crossmember would be left on when pulling the transmission. Then the mounts would be easy to service. My car seems to have 200000 miles on the original clutch.

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